THEY are great names in different fields, drawn together by deep respect and admiration for each other.
Basketball legend Robert Jaworski may not have done a movie or special project with the late Comedy King Dolphy, but he does count the veteran comedian as one of his closest friends in show business together with the The King himself, Fernando Poe, Jr.
“Bobby is a good friend of Dolphy and the late FPJ,” disclosed Reli De Leon, a longtime associate of the Big J.
A promotion specialist and horse owner, De Leon recounted the only time Dolphy and Jaworski worked together was in the early seventies when they appeared as guests in a TV show. But they have struck a friendship that remained strong even if they didn't cross paths often.
In fact, the 66-year-old `Living Legend’ of basketball was able to visit the 83-year-old comedian at the Makati Medical Center two weeks before he died, De Leon said. Pidol died a day after the Big J’s famed No. 7 Ginebra jersey was officially retired at the Araneta Coliseum.
A basketball fan, Dolphy used to watch PBA games either on TV or live at the Astrodome in the nineties with son Vandolph on days when Ginebra and Jaworski would play.
But De Leon could not categorically say if Dolphy was really a Jaworski fan. And neither could two sportsmen who had the opportunity in the past to work with the former vaudeville star.
“Honesty, hindi ko maalala. Pero posible,” said Ed Picson, now executive director of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines who was once a semi-regular in Dolphy’s hit sitcom John en Marsha.
“Hindi ko rin alam,” said former Crispa star shooting guard Atoy Co, who was privileged enough to star with Pidol in a movie and appeared several times in two of his top rated sitcoms.
What De Leon is aware of, however, was the respect Dolphy, Jaworski and FPJ had for each other.
He said: “The three are icons of the Filipino way of life in different forms of entertainment. They are larger than life, and all of them provide never-ending happiness and hope.”